I recall saying a lot of awesomeness about XYZ Remora back before it came out on the podcast, but then after it was released I kind of lost my fervor. That being said, I still have all the ideas present that I thought of back then, it’s just I’m not that motivated to make any decks using it, nor am I too sure at the strength of many of these ideas. One thing that I should say though is that in order to engineer your own original deck, one of the first things you must be willing to do is test everything, even the worst of ideas. You have to wade through all the bad ideas before you get to the good ones.
Let’s begin, the card: XYZ Remora, Level 4, WATER, Fish, 800 ATK and 800 DEF. Effect:
You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by detaching 2 Xyz Materials from monster(s) you control. When you do: You can target 2 Level 4 Fish-Type monsters in your Graveyard; Special Summon those targets in face-up Defense Position. Their effects are negated, they cannot attack or change their battle positions, and cannot be used as Xyz Materials for an Xyz Summon, except for the Xyz Summon of a WATER monster.
I’ve been having trouble laying out this article, so I’ve decided to make it very systematic. First I’l start off by talking about XYZ Remora specifically.
To reiterate its effect, you can detach two of your monsters XYZ materials to summon 2 Level 4 Fish from the graveyard, making 3 Level 4 Fish monsters. Also, they can only be used for a WATER XYZ. It’s stats are pretty stinky, so it’s only going to be used for its effect. Its stats are also a blessing in the form of Salvage allowing some pretty fantastic OTKs with Salvage in the mix. It’s also searchable by an interesting card called Generation Force (named after the pack), a Normal Spell that you can activate only if you control an XYZ monster that allows you to add a card with “XYZ” in its name from your deck to your hand.
The amount of XYZ that can be summoned with the monsters from its effect is pretty shallow. (no pun intended) It comes down to the following monsters:
- Abyss Dweller
- Bahamut Shark
- Evigishki Merrowgeist
- Gagagigo the Risen
- No. 32 Shark Drake & CNo. 32
- Snowdust Giant.
That’s 6 monsters, not a whole lot; most of which have effects (or no effect) based around being big beatsticks. This means when you summon XYZ Remora you’re not looking for a control play you’re looking to deal massive damage with a low amount of cards.
My first inclination is to think OTKs and Superancient Deepsea Coelacanth, which is a great idea for the most part, but Superancient can already perform plentiful OTKs without the help of XYZ Remora, so I’d like to put those out of our minds from the get go, at least until later in the article mayhaps.
Moving along, the first thing that becomes apparent with Remora is that it needs to be setup first by getting a bunch of Level 4 Fish in the graveyard or under a monster as XYZ material. Now, there’s not a whole lot of level 4 Fish monsters, and there aren’t a whole lot of good ones at that, so I’ll take a moment to go over each of the reasonable Fish. Once we’ve got those Fish setup you can either XYZ Summon and have a Remora in hand or a copy of Generation Force and continue to make plays differing with each deck.
Much like Water XYZ, there’s not a whole lot of Level 4 Fish. I’ll spare you the entire list and show you each of the ones I find particularly useful:
- 7 Colored Fish & Friends (Normal Monsters)
- Scrap Shark
- Wind-Up Shark
- Rare Fish (currently OCG only)
- Mermail Fishmen
- Royal Swamp Eel
7 Colored Fish & Friends:
As is my custom, the first place I look for making Rank 4’s is Rescue Rabbit. For this particular venture we’re looking for Level 4 Fish. The best level 4 Fish monster to go along with Rabbit is the fabled 7 Colored Fish. It’s got 1800 ATK making it the strongest fish stat wise and that makes it the best. There aren’t any particular assets that give Fish monsters an edge, the only one you could argue being Fish Depth Charge, meaning that high ATK is the most valuable asset when looking at Fish Normal Monsters. Thus we have 7 Colored Fish as the best one with no contention. I will mention in passing Flying Fish, a level 4 Normal Wind Fish with 800 ATK 500 DEF because Wind monsters can make Lightning Chidori, but it has such abysmal stats that it’s probably not worth running. The only other non Water Normal Fish is Souleater, which I’ll admit is pretty awesome and I might be tempted to run it just for the troll factor. (if you don’t remember it’s the Yugioh card with the shortest card text in the game: “A living wonder of mystery.”) Then next highest attack Normal Fish is Space Mambo, one of my favorite cards, so if you’re looking for the 6 Normals w/Rabbit kind of build, then he’s the next one to go to with his 1700 ATK.
Normal monsters have a couple pretty random benefits to go along with Fish decks, and by a couple I mean two that I can think of. The first is Faustian Bargain, which is just a kind of fun card I don’t really want to get into and the 2nd is the card Symbols of Duty. Symbols of Duty is an Equip Spell that sends a Normal Monster you control to the graveyard to Special Summon any monster from your graveyard. The reason I bring it up is because it was used in a Coelacanth OTK variant that used 7 Colored Fish and Royal Swamp Eel as Coelacanth targets as well as Genex Undine and Genex Controller to get Coelacanth into the graveyard, and since that ran so many Normal Monsters they could run Symbols of Duty to revive Coelacanth and OTK. It was further supported by the fact that they ran Hidden Armory with D.D.R. Different Dimension Reincarnation to Special Summon Coelacanth off of Gold Sarcophagus. All this isn’t particularly relevant, but I always try to keep things in mind.
There’s also cards like Dark Factory of Mass Production or Justi-Break. Dark Factory isn’t really that good hear since you want the Fish in grave, and Justi-Break just isn’t a very good card anymore especially with Mirror Force at 2.
Back to Rescue Rabbit. If you where going to take this venture, what would be the XYZ of choice? There’s 3 in particular XYZ that running Water monsters gives access too: Bahamut Shark, Snowdust Giant and Abyss Dweller. Bahamut Shark is nice since it makes a plus 1 off of Rabbit and is one of the highest attack Rank 4’s in the game. Snowdust Giant could be considered a giant in terms of attack points since he can lower opposing monster’s attack points pretty low easily, making him an all purpose battle killer. Abyss Dweller because it’s effect is sometimes good and because it’s effect boosts all the stinky Normal Water monsters you’re running to a scary amount: 2200 Space Mambo and 2300 7 Colored Fish.
The second interesting Fish monster to load the graveyard is Scrap Shark. This has got to be one of the weirdest and funnest of the Fish cards. Scrap Shark is a Level 4 Earth Fish with 2100 ATK and 0 DEF. When anything is activated Scrap Shark destroys itself and can send a Scrap monster from the deck to the graveyard. In our case we’ll want to send more Scrap Sharks to load the graveyard with Fish. It doesn’t really get supported by the rest of the archetype, but it’s certainly interesting. It has synergy with Scrap Storm as well as Fish Depth Charge and can be used in tandem with Skill Drain.
If you wanted to go with more Scraps, they can make some pretty easy Rank 4 monsters [and Scrap Dragon] using Scrap Chimera + Scrap Beast. If you’ve loaded the graveyard with Sharks you can make a rank 4 with Chimera and then use that to pull off Remora’s effect and revive the sharks. You can proceed to destroy those Sharks with Scrap Orthros and summon those from hand or revive Scrap Mind Reader’s from the graveyard and mill even more Mind Readers. I’ll go more in depth (the puns are too easy…) in a bit. Although I don’t recommend the wasting of potential of Chimera on Rank 4’s there’s some really cool things to be done here with the other stuff.
One thing to note about XYZ Remora’s effect is that although the monsters can only be used for WATER XYZ it says nothing about Synchro monsters. This means you can Synchro them away for just about anything. Scrap Orthros is a level 4 Tuner you can Special Summon from your hand and when you do he must destroy a Scrap monster. (so if he’s the only one there he destroys himself) With the Scrap Sharks you get with Remora you get plenty of targets for its effect and can do a lot of wonky plays from there. You can destroy 1 Shark to summon Orthros and send another Scrap to the graveyard for Shark being destroyed. You can proceed to make a Scrap Dragon with the Remora + Orthros and destroy the Shark with Scrap Dragon and send another Scrap to the graveyard.
You can also do some super weird stuff with Scrap Searcher and Scrap Mind Reader. Scrap Searcher is a Level 1 Winged Beast that Special Summons itself from the graveyard when a Scrap monster is destroyed and then destroy all non-Scraps you control. It’s really easy to bring back because Shark tends to destroy itself, and it’s also easy to get in the graveyard since Shark can send it there with its effect. Searcher allows you to more easily maintain field presence as well as “upgrade” your Scrap Dragons into Scrap Twin Dragons since Scrap Twin is a level 9 and is slightly more powerful. It’s also nice that it’s level 1 allowing easy Rank 1’s with Scrap Mind Reader. Scrap Mind Reader is a Level 1 Tuner that you can Special Summon from the graveyard in your Main Phase 2 by destroying a Scrap monster your control, then he’s banished when he leaves the field. Assuming you pulled off the Remora combo you can destroy 1 Shark to revive him, (unfortunately you can only Synchro with Mind Reader and other Scrap monsters or you could make a really easy Scrap Twin Dragon here) then you can send another Mind Reader to the grave with the Shark the first Mind Reader destroyed and revive that one by destroying the second Shark and send something else to the grave. Then you can make a Rank 1 XYZ which sets up another Remora play and infinitely re-uses the Mind Readers since “removed from field” effects don’t apply when a monster is used as XYZ Material.
Scrap Shark is also a very nice way to summon any of the Meklord Emperors. All the Meklord Emperors have the same summoning condition which is “When a face-up monster you control is destroyed: you can Special Summon this card from your hand.” Scrap Shark destroys itself like it’s nothing so that’s a pretty good excuse to run Meklord Emperor Wisel, who has 2500 ATK and negates 1 Spell a turn.
There’s also some mild Synergy with Skill Drain, but this doesn’t work too well with Remora or the other Scrap monsters. This facet is nice with the card Scrap Lube though, a Continuous Spell that revives a Scrap Monster and negates its effect. A pretty nice way to bring out a huge beat-stick Also, when Scrap Lube is destroyed it destroys Shark, which sets off his effect, which is cool too.
The main problem with the Scrap Shark idea is that there isn’t a whole lot of potential for XYZ summoning within the basic Scraps, but once you do XYZ the deck can drop a whole ton of wombo plays. This may be a good reason to run a card like Tour Guide From the Underworld, just to make a quick XYZ monster for Remora to detach the material from so that the plays can go off. I haven’t tested any of the Scrap ideas, so it could just be a total flop because of this.
Another possible outlet is with Wind-Ups because of Wind-Up Shark. The deck XYZ summons a lot and can search out Wind-Up Shark quickly. This can be further promoted with XYZ Remora since it also allows the use of Salvage in Wind-Ups, which is pretty cool. Wind-Ups aren’t really my forte so I’ve bussed most of these ideas to Justen to see what he does with them, especially since his Wind-Up deck is looking for ideas due to the banlist.
Pretty much all you would do here is add XYZ Remora and maybe Generation Force to a pretty standard Wind-Up deck (minus 2 Magicians) and the plays pretty much make themselves. Here’s an example of one play I thought up, and of course it has many variations, Wind-Up Magician + Wind-Up Shark + XYZ Remora:
- Normal Magician, Special Shark. Magician’s effect Summon Shark from deck. Make both Shark’s level 5 and XYZ summon ZW – Leo Arms. Remora effect detach both Sharks and revive them. XYZ Utopia using Remora and Magician. XYZ for Bahamut Shark with the 2 Sharks. Equip Leo Arms to Utopia… attack for game 5500 + 2600 = 8100. Pretty silly. You could also use Leo to search for a Unicorn Spear and then overlay Leo Arms for Gaia Dragon, then later equip the Unicorn Spear to Utopia for 4400 + 2600 + 2600 = 9600, but you have to be running Unicorn Spear.
The same play can be performed with Summoner Monk + Wind-Up Shark + XYZ Remora by summoning a Shark or Magician with Monk. Me and Justen have been talking about running Monk in Wind-Ups since it searches Magician, but I’m still a little unsure since it doesn’t really have any other targets to search. It does have nice synergy with the Remora since it makes quick XYZ summons, searches for Shark as well as pitches dead copies of Generation Force.
In the future (hopefully the near future) this style of deck will get a boost from the card Rare Fish. A card that is incredibly elusive to the TCG. In fact it’s still only released in the OCG. Originally it was released in the OCG in packs before the TCG even existed, that’s how old this card is. Rare Fish is a Level 4 Fusion that’s WATER and Fish, with 1500 ATK and 1200 DEF. This is really good for XYZ Remora since it promotes XYZ summoning for its effect through the card Instant Fusion as well as provides Fish to revive for Remora’s effect. On top of that Instant Fusion is already a high synergy card in Wind-Ups and this card may just build a nice niche for XYZ Remora in the future of Wind-Ups perhaps?
That brings me to probably the best Fish subsection which is Mermails. There’s 5 Level 4 Mermails that are Fish. Mermail Abysspike, Abyssturge, Abyssmander, Abyssnose and Abysslung. (I’ve got to say, the spell checker for all there names was pretty hilarious) Abysslung is horribad so ignore it, and now we’re left with 4.
First we’ve got Mermail Abyssnose, probably the quickest to the job we want done when it comes to XYZ Remora. When he destroys a monster by battle you can discard a WATER monster to Special Summon a Mermail from the deck. That’s a pretty quick 2 Level 4 Fish monsters as well as an XYZ monster to detach from. He’s only got 1500 ATK which is his downfall, but he’s the quickest of the Mermails.
Second we have Mermail Abysspike whom we all probably know very well by now and his similar buddy Mermail Abyssturge. Sturge is the same as Spike except he adds a Level 3 or lower Water from the graveyard to the hand by discarding a WATER monster as well as has 1700 ATK as opposed to spike’s 1600. Both of them combo extremely well with Mermail Abyssgunde, a Level 3 Aqua, that when discarded Special Summons a Mermail monster from the graveyard. (Many people are becoming more familiar with it as we speak due to Billy Brakes topping Mermail build at YCS Miami) The goal with these two is to first get a Level 4 Mermail into the graveyard and then use there effects to discard Gundes to revive the Mermails in grave as well as search or re-use the Gundes with there search effects. I imagine that may have sounded a little confusing, but I hope you understood.
Then there’s Mermail Abyssmander. He’s got 100 ATK 2000 DEF. You can banish him from the graveyard to increase the level of all the Mermails you control by 1 or 2. He makes good discard fodder for Spike and Sturge and is also a level 4 Fish himself.
These Fish monsters are particularly effective with Remora for a couple special reasons. First, unlike all the other Fish mentioned earlier they don’t require XYZ Remora to have purpose in the deck. You can simply win the duel with just the Mermail core without ever drawing Remora, even if it’s in your deck. Second, when this deck makes a Rank 4 it’s twice as effective since they can go into Bahamut Shark which can bring out a Mermail Abysstrite, which is only a big booty in every other deck, but in this deck it helps perpetuate the XYZ combos. When Abysstrite is destroyed and sent to the graveyard is revives one of your Mermails, which means reviving Spike or Sturge to activate there effects to further discard an perpetuate yourself. On top of this XYZ Remora makes summoning two Bahamut Shark a cinch. The main problem soon becomes you run out of Bahamut Sharks and Abysstrites to easily.
Building upon this engine is the card Royal Swamp Eel. As I mentioned before Remora doesn’t say anything about Synchro summoning and that’s where Royal Swamp Eel takes the stage. Royal Swamp Eel is a Level 4 Fish Tuner with 1700 ATK and 1200 DEF. It can only be Synchro’d with other Fish monsters though, but that’s kind of irrelevant when all the other monsters in your deck are Fish. You can outright summon the Eel to make a Synchro with a monster that’s leftover on the field, or you can pitch it with the Mermail effects so that when you use Remora you can just revive it for easy Synchro plays. Here’s an example play after some setup:
- Normal Summon Abysspike and use his effect discarding Abyssgunde to add another Gunde to hand. Revive Abyssturge with Gunde and discard Abyssmander with Sturge to add back the Gunde for later. Then banish Mander to make both your monsters level 5. XYZ for Adreus (in the future Volcasaurus) pop some stuff, then XYZ for Gaia Dragon. Detach the Adreus and the remaining Mermail from Gaia Dragon to summon Remora and revive Sturge and Spike. XYZ for Bahamut and bring our Abysstrite. Then you’re setup for if they blow up your field so you can revive Sturge and discard the Gunde and go again if you have Remora again or simply just make a quick Bahamut Shark to stall.
- You can also make No. 32 Shark Drake if you want to do a lot of damage and further that with Shark Drake Veiss if you have less than 1000 Lifepoints.
- You can double all of this up if you have another Remora, Salvage or Generation Force in hand immediately by summoning Shark Drake Veiss and detach 2 materials for Remora and making some more.
- If you have a Royal Swamp Eel in grave you can revive it instead at the end and make a Scrap Dragon and pop the remaining monster for it or a Stardust to protect your field.
Spike and Sturge have some nice Synergy with Call of the Haunted which brings up the last piece that fits really well with the Mermails, which is Superancient Deepsea Coelacanth. Superancient is actually quite easy to summon in this deck and makes the deck go into gonzo mode. With Call of the Haunted it allows the deck to play with Superancient very easily. You can discard Superancient for the Mermail effects and then revive him with Call. You can Call of the Haunted Spike and discard Gunde to revive anything and simply make a tribute summon. Then to top this off, all the Mermails are summonable by Superancient’s effect, so you don’t have to run a bunch of crappy monsters in your deck to support Superancient in this case, which is sweet. What I also think is really cool is bringing out Abyssmanders with Superancient’s effect since you can make a Rank 4 with them or Synchro with Swamp Eel and then use there effect to make the other Mermails summoned by Superancient increase their level so you can make Rank 5’s or 6’s. It may be a little excessive, but who doesn’t like to finesse.
In terms of getting excessive, there’s also return Remora to your hand for Genex Ally Birdman to use its effect again. I’ll let your minds wander with that one.
Hope you enjoyed! I’ll continue next week with Ninja Zone, using Ninjas in a totally different manner.